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  • Writer's pictureHEIDI GRUBER '23

The 31-Year Curse

“Touchdown Bengals get some points upon that board, and win the game for Cincinnati!”

  • “Bengals Growl”

Even though this season ended on a heartbreaker, it is still one for the history books. This year Joe Burrow led the Bengals to victory, ending their 31-year playoff win drought with their W against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Traveling back 31 years ago, it was January 6, 1991. President George Bush is president, fashion trends from the late 80s are still popular, and Home Alone is at the top of the box office. There is no Twitter, Instagram, or even the World Wide Web. The mayor of Cincinnati is David Mann and the Tyler Davidson Fountain on Fountain Square is green.

The Bengals host the Houston Oilers at Riverfront stadium which is also home to the Reds. The Houston Oilers will later become the Tennessee Titans. Boomer Esiason is the Bengals quarterback and has star targets such as Ickey Woods, Anthony Munoz, Eddie Brown, and Harold Green. Then there are the stars on defense: Tim Krumrie, Eric Thomas, David Fulcher and David Grant. Things are looking good with the Bengals up by 20-0 at half. By the end of the 3rd quarter, the Bengals score 2 more touchdowns and the Oilers score 1. The 4th quarter ends with one more touchdown by the Bengals and one by the Oilers as well. The Bengals win the game 41-14, with touchdowns from Boomer Esiason, Ickey Woods, Eric Ball, Harold Green, and Eric Kattus. The kicker, Jim Breech also kicked two field goals.

With the win, the Bengals advance to face the Las Vegas Raiders the following week. Unfortunately, the Bengals lose the next game and it will begin the “Curse of Bo Jackson.” Bo Jackson, a star running back for the Raiders, gets a career ending injury which was inflicted by the Bengals. After Jackson's injury they have never been able to win a playoff game . . . until now.

With Joe Burrow’s playoff win against the Raiders, the “Curse of Bo Jackson'' was lifted and the Bengals were growlin’ again until their 4th quarter loss in the Super Bowl. There is much more to come from the Bengals and hopefully a Lombardi trophy will be brought home to Cincinnati in the coming years.

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